Review: The Legion of Super-Heroes #304

The Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #304 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

The Legion of Super-Heroes #304
Published and © by DC,  October 1983

Title: “Siege Perilous”
Synopsis: With the team down to just 21 members, the Legion considers the current crop of Legion Academy cadets.

Writers (plot): Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen
Writer (script): Levitz
Penciler: Giffen
Inker: Larry Mahlstedt

Review: Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen’s work on LoSH remains one of the most underrated runs of the Bronze Age. While their signature arc – “The Great Darkness Saga” (see reviews) – continues to be well regarded, it is quieter, character-driven issues like this one that are a real testament to the creative team’s strengths. Levitz deftly juggles several plot threads, while still finding time for rich character moments; even supporting cast members get a chance to shine. On the art side, Keith Giffen’s early Legion work may be clean to the point of sterile, but it’s perfect for this sci-fi-flavored book.

Grade: A-

Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: Paul Levitz has a knack for developing “real” characters – even Legion Academy cadets who rarely get panel time.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 75¢ Canadian variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “Better no new Legionnaires than another dead one.” – Star Boy, reluctant deputy leader

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Feb. 11, 2013.

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